We’re back with our weekly basement update (here’s where we left off) and this time we conquered the bare-bulb ceiling fixture (by dressing it up with a polished linen shade). We also snagged a vertical balancing bike rack (on sale!) since our cinder block walls make hanging weight-baring hooks and stands close to impossible) and got the ultimate surprise from Flor in the form of an awesome 5 x 8 rug thanks to their amazing carpet squares. Sure we still have to add privacy to the windows, paint the built-in cabinet near the bikes, build a screen to hide our eyesore of a water heater, and more… but here’s what the room looks like these days with the new DIY light fixture, discount bike rack and fun new area rug:
And you might wonder why the fine folks at Flor would offer us a free area rug of our choosing (other than the fact that they’re insanely sweet over there) but we’re actually teaming up with them for this week’s giveaway so they’re also dishing out a free area rug to one of our readers this afternoon (!). It’s a win-win situation. And installing the floor tiles we picked (after careful consideration we went for the fun and durable Ascot Stripe variety) was super easy. They even come with simple little sticky circles that adhere all of the corners from underneath…
… for a seamless and secure end result.
Now for the details on the bike rack. We were on the lookout for a rack that would allow us to store the bikes above one another for to maximize space and create some interest on the back wall… but the impossible cinder block walls made anything that has to be screwed or anchored to the wall totally out of the question. Enter this baby stage right (it was actually suggested by a reader in our last post- thanks Lauren!). Plus when we got to Target it happened to be on sale for $39 (down from $49) so we grabbed it and wasted no time getting both bikes off the floor. It’s kind of industial-chic, no?
The lamp shade also hails from Target, where we were immediately struck by the chic linen look, generous size, and great price. Twenty-five beans later we got it home, removed the ceiling bulb, slipped the metal ring that’s attached to the inside the shade onto the bulb, and screwed the bulb back into the formerly bare fixture box. Basically it’s the same way you’d put a shade on a table lamp, but it hangs from the ceiling instead.
Here’s a detail shot where you can see the metal ring from the shade slipped over the bulb and held in place by screwing the bulb into place in the overhead fixture box. So easy and so much cleaner looking! We also emplyed this method in the den to class up our ceiling fan (here’s that link for ya).
So that’s where we are with the basement. As we mentioned, we still have the windows and the water heater (among other things) to address, so stick around for those updates soon. And we also plan to load up on containers and bins to store a whole mess of stuff in the armoires that we added last week so stay tuned for all the nitty gritty organizing details when we throw open the doors and bare all.
And while we’re on the subject of organizing, what do you guys prefer? Clear plastic bins so you can see everything inside? Opaque bins so you can’t? Wire baskets for Parisian flair? Fabric boxes or cardboard ones in fun colors? Name your favorite organization accessories at the beep. Beeeeeep.
why an incandescent light bulb? :)
Good point! We threw things together this weekend pretty quickly so we just used the light that was already in there and haven’t switched it out for a CFL yet. Although I guess it can be argued that using up what you have and then switching to CFLs is still not an un-green thing to do. We’re all about using things “up” before tossing them!
I love the Flor carpet tiles, I had to spend sometime on the website since we are in need of some rug ideas for our new office!! Love what you did with the boring ‘ol basement.
Jen @ Jewel of the Prairie says
If you DON’t do clear, then at least get a labelmaker or something so you know what’s inside. I prefer clear storage bins in plastic. Especially if they are in your basement. Cardboard just isn’t reliable enough for me :-)
I love the way your basement is turning out. Love the carpet FLORing. I use the see thru, quick peek plastic boxes for organizing in my garage and I love them. If you were going to have them sitting out in plain view I would opt for the opaque variety but since they are in the wardrobe I say go with the see thru.
Looking good! I really like the lamp shade touch.
If at all possible I like plastic storage bins. They look so much more put together, last longer and are more durable. I like clear plastic, but also opaque. I love the idea of color cordinating such as all Christmas stuff in green/red bins. With opaque bins I like the idea of putting stickers somewhere on them of what’s inside. I have a sticker maker, so anything can become a sticker: magazine pics of your stuff, or your own pic of everything that’s inside the bin. That way you don’t have to go digging all the time to find what you’re looking for.
I’ve always thought of using the Flor tiles for our bedroom. They look great in your basement.
I guess I prefer natural storage, so wicker or rattan baskets and mixed in with natural linen covered bins. I also love the white Ikat (?) boxes from Ikea. I bought some about 9 years ago as a newlywed and they’re great for things that you need to keep but definitely don’t want to look at (i.e., taxes!).
Carol in Indian Springs Village says
I guess it depends on what you are storing and if seeing it in all it’s messy glory (inside a clear container) would bother you. I have a huge number of the vintage Ball jars with lots of ribbon in them in my craft studio. That doesn’t bother me because I love the colors and like seeing the many pretty ribbons. In other rooms though I prefer the opaque storage (magazine articles torn out, recipe cards, etc.) so things look less messy.
Hey, you used my carpet tiles idea! It looks great — I never would have thought to use stripes, but it adds so much!
How can I enter the giveaway?
Just comment on the post above this one (published later in the day so you couldn’t enter it this morning since it didn’t exist). Hope it helps!
Rachel Ridd says
It’s looking good!! I don’t have a basement here in Lexington, KY so my husband bike is being stored in our guest bedroom – classy huh??
Brandi Corriveau says
With the exception of shoe boxes (which I prefer to be clear), I like the idea of hiding my mess. Personally I think a nice canvas box with a label on the front is classic and functional. Who could go wrong with that? Plus you can get them in a ton of different colors. Stylish!
The basement if looking great!
Don’t use clear bins for anything that might be damaged by light.
I brilliantly stored some vintage Christmas cards in a see-through plastic container one year and I still mourn the extent to which they faded (even in a dark attic).
Sunny Pritchard says
You guys are going to hate me, but I love those KASSET boxes from IKEA. They come in great colors, and the little label caddies in the front are just uber handy. The matching magazine files help make my pack-rattery manageable.
Why would we hate you? Sure, they’re a pain to put together, but we love them too. You’re right about the little metal label things. So great!
I’m a fan of wicker or reed or whatever those other baskets are from Ikea that fit in the Expedit. If I have a box on a shelf, it’s to HIDE in addition to store, LOL. Clear is not my way!
It looks so clean and polished, you guys did a fabulous job!
Love the Flor Tiles too, what a great surprise!
I so adore your light fixture update and what a great coincidence that your bike rack was on sale?!… it was meant to be. Oh, and the rug just makes the room feel more like, well, a ROOM. I wish someone would offer up some free home decor to me! (hint, hint) Anyhoo, I really REALLY appreciate you guys sharing the process of your basement makeover instead of the before, then BAM!, after. It’s great to see it in stages. Love y’all!
The bike rack looks great….glad it worked out for you!
Chloe & Company says
It’s looking so good! I love the linen lampshade light you chose. I’m not so patiently waiting for my husband to hang my new chandelier that has linen shades up in our dining room that I bought of eBay a while back.
The rug pattern you chose was a great pick, too! You’ve got me thinking a FLOR area rug would be a good choice for our entryway that’s bare right now.
For in-sight storage, such as on our leaning shelves in the living room, we use wicker baskets; it blends in best with the look of our room. We each have a small basket for our keys/wallets/sunglasses/etc., there’s medium-sized one for mail and other stuff that needs sorted/filed away, and then there’s a BIG one that I keep whatever purses/totes/resusable grocery bags I’ve got out.
For actual storage (holiday decorations, etc.), I prefer solid-colored plastic boxes with labels. The OCD organizer in me doesn’t want to see the piles of junk inside!
megan @ a life's design says
looking good! i use all types of storage bins, because each location is different.
I listening to the radio this weekend, heard the weather report for the rest of the state, and as soon as I heard there was flooding in Richmond, I thought of your basement! Funny, right? Hope the drylock was able to keep up with all the water!
Dry as a bone! Isn’t that amazing? We can’t believe it because practically all of our neighbors have totally flooded basements so we feel incredibly lucky that we waterproofed everything when we did. Whew!
Elaine K says
Your basement looks amazing. If you don’t have water in it after all the rain we had last week you probably never will! I go for storage that you can’t see through or a cupboard to hide things in.
pk @ Room Remix says
Really like everything you’ve done so far! My favorites so far are the punches of green against the white and the graphic rug.
Your basement is coming along so nice! It doesn’t even look like a typical basement, gosh if we could only get to the projects that we want to do around the house, I’d love to make our basement pretty like yours!
Speaking of rugs, I was wondering if you could help me out with making a rug-purchasing decision. We need a new rug for under our dining table. I bought a jute rug from West Elm a few months ago for under the table but our 8 month old puppy seems to think that the big woven knots in the rug are for him to chew on.
We’ve corrected his bad habit but now we’re left with a rug that has “pulls” in it and to be honest, he almost did me a favor because I wasn’t totally thrilled with it to begin with. It just seemed too thick when we’d pull our chairs in and out over the rug but my husband just didn’t want to hear that. So now I’ve convinced him that we need a new rug and we’re stuck between 2 rugs from Pottery Barn…either the “color-bound sisal rug” or the “color-bound seagrass” rug. Both rugs looks so similar to me…we just want one that adds some interest/definition to the room, lies flat, and doesn’t act as a chew toy for our puppy! Can I ask you your opinion in which rug would probably be best for us?
Thanks so much!
(And sorry for the lengthy comment)
We bought that same lampshade for our living room about a month ago and I LOVE it! Target is the best. I wish we could redo our basement space but it’s 135 years old… low ceilings and just old. Your space looks great!
Speaking of Richmond, VA, designer Eddie Ross was evidently in your town today.
He’s terrific! I missed him the last time he was doing a gig out my way.
harmony mccullough says
you guys are really making headway on your basement! how exciting :-)
i’ve got a question–i remeber awhile back reading a post where you mentioned a great online discount fabric source, but haven’t been able to find it in old posts. could you tell e soe of the sources you have the best luck with? i’m looking for the perfect fabric at the perfect price to reupholster my livingroom chairs :-) thanks!!!
Harmony- Could it have been fabric.com? That’s all that comes to mind for us, but we find lots of great discount fabrics there. Hope it helps!
Cecelia- We actually just returned from that event! It was great and we had lots of fun meeting readers, eating good grub and watching Eddie Ross talk about holiday decorating!
Erica- Tough choice but neither one is the wrong one… meaning you can go with either rug and do no wrong. They’re both gorgeous so it’s really your call!
Jess @ Frugal with a Flourish says
I prefer boxes you can’t see thru for areas that are publicly accessible. But in closets or other places where you don’t have people parading thru clear is nice!
BTW – that light fixture is awesome!
Lindsay @ Likely Design says
I LOVE FLOR tiles! We have 2 FLOR rugs in our house…one in the living room and a runner down the hallway. Great choice!
Basement looks great. It’s amazing what you can get done pre-children. We’ve been in our house for 6 years and with 3 kiddies running around, our basement still needs alot of work.
I’m curious what you plan to use it for, ‘specially since it appears you cannot access it from the main house.
Also, just wondering why you chose to keep the bikes in there, rather than the garage.
Keep up the great work! You two seem to have found awesome little careers, just because you bought a fixer upper.
The plan is that we’ll use it for lots and lots of storage (we like having a few surfaces to set things down on so we can dig through boxes to find things without crouching on the floor). And maybe one day waaaay down the line it can be a messy arts and crafts room of sorts for our kids (we picture lots of finger painting that can just be wiped down in our waterproofed room!). Oh and the garage gets spiderwebs and the occasional rogue bird in it, while the basement is totally sealed and bug-proof now, so keeping our bikes down there feels like a luxury to us. Hope it helps!
[email protected] says
NO WAY Sherry and John! I was just talking to my hubby about getting these carpet squares for our living room! Our problem is dog hair, so they seemed to make products that would hold up to our mutts! Looks great!
I prefer the clear plastic bins so I can see what is inside. I am seriously opposed to baskets and wire mesh containers, because everything inside just gets dusty! Containers with air-tight lids is the way to go.
I much prefer opaque bins – but I am madly devoted to my Brother labeler, so it’s no chore to remember what’s where. In fact, I label just about every drawer and cupboard in the house (unobtrusively) because I live as an organized brain in a sea of ADHD kiddos and husband, LOL!! It helps them all so, so much to have polished, labeled areas . . . they can follow any system I set in place, but are befuddled by trying to keep their own stuff organized. My only exception is clear bins (with lids) for rx meds, because it’s easier to fish out what I need in the moment . . . but that lives inside a closed cupboard.
Also, my husband is totally coming home to one of those gravity racks for his bikes. He doesn’t know it yet; Happy birthday to me LOL!! (Because less clutter is always a present!!)
And PS, I don’t mind open bins (no lids) if it’s in a fairly snug spot, as with the Expedit units (and so serving more or less as a drawer) or in a closed cupboard. Otherwise, I like lids on things.
Holy cow!! I take a few days off to visit Philly and AC and come back to find this GORGEOUS space completed!! What an incredible transformation in a very short amount of time! You guys never cease to amaze me :)
i am in awe of the bike rack! and i was expecting it to be much pricier. with no garage, we are forced to keep both of our bikes in our guest room, which is fine, until we have guests, which we often do. what a handy little stand that will clear up so much space. can’t wait to pick one up and then to hopefully convince my husband that the basement would be a much better place to store them ;).
WOW I’m sooo impressed. and like some of the other readers I am constantly forwarding your blog emails onto my boyfriend.. !!
We need a bike rack for our garage/storage shed… You found it in store at Target, with the bike stuff? and how tall is it exactly??
I love bins but to me they have to look like bins and NOT baskets! LOL, i prefer opaque ones so that you can’t see what’s in them and to add their own element of design.
I love how you just put the lampshade right over the existing fixture but I have a question/inquiry. In our apt we have these bare bulb fixtures as well, but they are up in the skylight area, hence not facing downwards like yours, but sideways. any recs on how to not just cover the fixture up (by taking out the lightbulb) but actually putting something over them like a shade and still look modern??
Yup, found it right at Target in the aisle with the bike and the car stuff. And it’s about six feet tall or so. As for your sideways bulb scenario, is there any way to get one giant shade that can still very safely be hung around both bulbs without getting to close to become a fire hazard. If you believe you can find one large enough you might be able to use small metal plant hooks from the ceiling to hook the shade directly to the ceiling so it covers the entire fixture to create one flush-mount-looking-shade instead. Hope it helps!
You may have already mentioned this, but I wanted to find out if the lamp shade is meant as a ceiling mount over existing bulbs or did you just improvise? Your basement looks awesome!
The lamp shade is just a basic table lamp variety from Target that we flipped over and retrofitted to work with our ceiling fixture. We’re all about improvising! Hope it helps!
Tiffany S. says
I prefer opaque bins with lids but then I have to label them. At one point we had a bin labeled “Santa Outfit, Gulf War, Boxing Gloves.” It cracked us up every time we’d see it, but that’s what was in there!
Thanks for the tip! there is only one fixture, i’ll take a picture for you!
Before we put our house on the market I needed a new light fixture in my dining space/living room that would give me more light than the old heavily frosted one that was there originally. I totally stole your fixture idea and bought a porceline fixture and a lamp shade from Target. Its actually the same lamp shade as yours, but a smaller size. Total cost…$12!!! AMAZING!!! Thinking about doing the same thing in the hallway where my DH broke the light fixture…Thanks for the idea!!!
[email protected] says
wow, i wish my basement looked like this!! no matter how much i try and clear it out to make room, it seems to be a jumbled heap within a matter of weeks!! i think its the black hole of my house!!
I wish we had basements in Texas but they would accumulate too much moisture–just not practical.
Hiya! Just wanted you to know this post was something of an inspiration to me, and I referenced it in my blog here: http://themclambs.blogspot.com/2010/09/let-there-be-light-in-nursery.html. Thanks a bunch for the inspiration you give us for pennies! :)
You have just saved my life.
We are working on a DIY redo of our basement and I have a couple of bare-bulb fixtures I needed to find a way to dress up.
I’ve searched all over the hardware stores for a fixture that I could attach somehow to the rafters of the ceiling and could not find one that would work.
I’ve run across your blog before and liked it, but just found it again with this AMAZING lampshade idea.
I know exactly where I’m going after work today: Target.
Thank you so much and good luck in the rest of your projects!